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Over 10,000 PCR tests after one year of operation: COVID-19 Testing Unit (CTU) at the Munich Tropical Institute closes at the end of March 2021

Copyright: Laeticia Vancon/The New York Times

The COVID-19 Testing Unit (CTU) at the Tropical Institute has ceased operations as of 26 March, 2021. It is no longer possible to book an appointment or to contact us via our CTU hotline.

Please note: Symptomatic patients with respiratory infections can make an appointment for a medical consultation via the secretariat of the  Outpatient Clinic of the Tropial Institute by telephone ( 089-4400 59870). For symptomatic patients, testing for SARS-CoV-2 (PCR test) will still be possible (at the discretion of the attending physician) and will be billed through the respective health insurance company.

A PCR test is still possible for participants of the KoCo19 study.
Please note our instructions for making appointments in our KoCo19 website section.

We thank all citizens for their trust and cooperation during the operation of the CTU.

Press release of the Tropical Institute

A reliable institution for the Munich area: COVID-19 Testing Unit (CTU) at the Munich Tropical Institute closes at the end of March 2021

Over 10,000 PCR tests after one year of operation - Tropical Institute at LMU Hospital thanks all involved and local residents

Munich, 26 March, 2021: Despite the pandemic, a bit of normality will soon return to Munich's Georgenstrasse. One year after it was opened by the City of Munich and the Bavarian Minister of Science Bernd Sibler as a "help for helpers", the operation of the COVID-19 Testing Unit (CTU) at the Tropical Institute of the LMU Hospital will end on 26 March 2021. The tent of the temporary walk-through station at the entrance to the outpatient clinic in Leopoldstraße 5, which has become part of everyday hospital life and the street scene since the start of the Corona pandemic, will be dismantled at the end of March. In consultation with its partners, the Tropical Institute, headed by Professor Michael Hoelscher, has decided to take this step because there are now many large, specialised facilities in Munich with high testing capacities. Even with increasing corona case numbers, these providers cover the need for PCR and other testing facilities.

One year of the test station at the Tropical Institute: Chronology of events
At the end of the one-year operation of the testing station in March 2021, the mark of 10,000 PCR performed tests was reached. The COVID-19 Testing Unit (CTU) was an important contact point for the containment of the pandemic from the very beginning: On 27 January 2020, the first COVID-19 case in Germany was diagnosed at the Tropical Institute by Dr. med. Camilla Rothe. The very next day, a team experienced in infection control, led by Dr. med. Günter Fröschl, set up a COVID-19 testing unit in a separate building area of the Institute. The test unit is thus the longest existing facility of its kind in Germany. With increasing numbers of infections and thus increased testing volume, the COVID-19 Testing Unit (CTU) was relocated to a tent in Georgenstraße on 23 March 2020, which was closed off for this purpose with the support of the City of Munich.

With the original drive/walk-through station, the City of Munich initially created testing capacities for special occupational groups that play a central role in combating the pandemic, such as medical personnel, police officers, nursing staff, firefighters or emergency personnel of the Bavarian Red Cross. Later, the test station continued to operate as a pure walk-through. From September 2020, it became part of the Bavarian Test Strategy, and thus an appointment booking was possible free of charge for all citizens residing in Bavaria. In the course of its operation, the team of the Tropical Institute was able to adapt the CTU to changing requirements, for example, by focusing on elderly and nursing home staff, or as a training facility for health workers to instruct them in infection control and smear procedures.

Copyright: LMU Klinikum München

Thanks to all supporters of the COVID-19 Testing Unit (CTU)
The Director of the Munich Tropical Institute, Professor Michael Hoelscher, takes stock: "For us, it was important to provide fast and uncomplicated support with our expertise after the first Corona cases in Germany and in the acute emergency. In a unique interaction of all parties involved and through the immediate willingness of the Bavarian State Government and the City of Munich, we were able to create an urgently needed contact point for PCR testing for the Munich population in a very short time."

"The Tropical Institute appreciates the great commitment of all those involved," says Dr Günter Fröschl, "our heartfelt thanks for their strong commitment goes to our medical and organisational team, especially to the many student assistants: without them, the CTU would not have become what it has been all along - a reliable and consistent institution for the Munich area. Many thanks also to all the residents for their patience and understanding, as well as to the Munich police, the Munich professional fire brigade, the Munich public utility company, the district administration department and the Munich traffic safety department, and the many other supporters."

Copyright: Dr. med. Günter Fröschl/LMU Klinikum München

Last update: March 24th, 2021, subject to changes.